Introduction to Panchakarma: Wholesome Secrets of Ancient Medicine

Do you know what Panchakarma is?

Panchakarma is a detox cleanse created by Ayurvedic practitioners in India thousands of years ago. This Ayurvedic process is a science, as well as an art, that helps individuals achieve balance, happiness, and good health. So how exactly does it work? According to ancient Ayurvedic philosophy, every person has a unique cosmic consciousness manifested through five elemental archetypes. In other words, the human body is perceived to be composed of Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Ether elements of Ayurveda. Out of these five, one or more elements could be dominant in the body.

Each archetype needs specific requirements to stay in balance. However, this isn’t always possible. We all know life can be destabilizing in many ways. Thankfully, healing therapies like Panchakarma can restore our balance. For people who become disordered for not meeting their daily dosha requirements because of improper diet, toxins, or stress, a cleanse can help reverse issues caused by these three things. 

What is the Natural State?

Every person has their own unique balance of these three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Usually, one of Ayurvedic doshas prevails over others what helps to define personal body type.  When a person’s dosha is working normally, this is considered the natural state. 

Our internal dosha is constantly reacting to our external environment. When the external world disrupts the internal natural state, it can lead to health issues. Constant external issues can prevent the body from bouncing back to its natural state. This is why body cleanses and healthy living are important. It strengthens the body and makes it more resilient to stress.

What Are The Benefits to Panchakarma Cleanse?

 – Stress Reduction

Certain therapy techniques like aromatherapy, drinking special tea, yoga, and oil massages can help lower stress.

– Detoxification

A combination of traditional herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes stimulate the body’s ability to remove toxins during the Panchakarma process. 

– Strengthens the Immune System

Because this Ayurvedic cleanse helps removed toxins and resets the body, the immune system is able to work more efficiently than before. 

– Increase Energy and Vitality

The cleansing process revitalizes the kidneys and liver and helps them work more efficiently than before. In turn, this boosts your metabolism which helps you feel more energetic. A surplus of energy also improves your mood. 

What’s a Pre-Cleanse?

Before the actual cleanse can begin, your body needs to be relaxed and prepared to go through the rigorous Panchakarma cleanse. The most common pre-cleanse technique is a special oil massage  The pre-cleanse will loosen the body, reduce stress, and encourage the release of toxins.

The Five Basic Cleansing Methods

Panchakarma is a broad term that entails many detoxifying techniques. In the section below, we will explore the six main ayurvedic methods of detoxification and how they benefit the body.  

– Vamana

Although not practiced in modern times, this method involves vomiting. For obvious reasons, this technique isn’t very healthy. Although certain times a medical professional may induce vomiting when someone eats something poisonous, unless you find yourself in this circumstance, it’s better to avoid this type of method. 

– Virechan

This is a method that utilizes special herbs and plants known to help purge the body of toxins. VIrechan is thought to cleanses the liver, kidneys, stomach, blood, and spleen. Common substances used for this method include aloe vera, salt, raisins, chaga mushroom, shilajit, dandelion root, mango juice, sesame seeds, and yellow thistle. 

– Basti

In this method, practitioners use enemas to help detoxify the body. Sesame oil is commonly used as the detoxifying agent. However, there is an array of special herbs and concoctions used for this procedure. If you’re pregnant, sick, or menstruating, a Basti detox should be avoided.     

– Nasya

This method uses aromatherapy to help detoxify and relax the body. Although many different special herbs and oils are used, the most common include vacha oil, ghee salt, and tikta ghee. Experts advise that children under the age of 7 and older adults over 80 should avoid the Nasya cleanse, as it can be harsh for their bodies.

– Rakta Moksha

This method uses bloodletting to help cleanse the body. It’s traditionally used to treat skin disorders, ulcers, gout, and more. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that these ailments are caused by impurities in the blood. Leeches are commonly used for this practice. However, like vomiting, this practice isn’t very common in modern times. 


This method involves a steam bath infused with special herbs known to detoxify the body. This ancient practice helps relax the body for the purification process. 

Lifestyle and Diet: The Key to Healthy Living

During any Panchakarma therapy, diet and lifestyle are extremely important. Most practitioners believe rest is crucial during the detoxification process. 

Exercise, sexual activity, television, and anything that requires excessive stimulation should be avoided. Alcohol, cold food, dairy, sugar, and drugs should also be avoided during a cleanse since these substances can strain the body. 

Although diets vary by practitioners, a typical Ayurvedicl diet used during a Panchakarma cleanse may consist of rice, mushroom tea, shilajit, and mung dai (mung beans). 


A Panchakarma cleanse is an extensive process that requires a commitment to a special lifestyle and diet change. Since this cleanse can be challenging, it should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional who specializes in Ayurveda. Although this may sound like a chore, Panchakarma really isn’t difficult. A good Ayurvedic practitioner will know how to make you feel at ease by pairing the challenging aspects of this cleanse like diet and lifestyle changes with the relaxing stuff, like oil massages, aromatherapy, and steam bathing. Panchakarma is truly a life-changing experience and vastly improves your life.